Toronto library food bank

Toronto libraries being used as food banks during COVID-19 crisis

The Toronto Public Library (TPL) is going above and beyond to support efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. On Monday, TPL announced a partnership with various GTA food banks to set up food distribution from library branches across the city.

“We are incredibly proud to be partnering with North York Harvest Food Bank, Daily Bread Food Bank and Second Harvest to help lessen the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity on our city,” city librarian Vickery Bowles said in a statement. “Our library branches are community hubs, and our staff are dedicated public servants committed to supporting those communities, so redirecting library resources to help address this critical need makes so much sense.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory discussed the city-corporate-community partnership in a press conference on Monday, noting that that the implementation of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in a dramatic increase in the need for food programs. The collaboration, Tory says, is meant to ensure that the food needs of vulnerable Torontonians continue to be met.

“We’ve been working with many of our community partners to make sure that people aren’t left hungry,” Tory said at the press conference, while also thanking Sobeys, Loblaws, and Kraft for their corporate donations.

According to the City of Toronto, nine food banks are open or are scheduled to open at Toronto Public Library locations — the first one opened on March 25 in partnership with North York Harvest Food Bank; another three opened in partnership with the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Six of the nine food banks are open at multiple Toronto Public Library locations: 155 Bonis Ave., 1515 Albion Rd., 545 Markham Rd., 430 Burnhamthorpe Rd., 2380 Eglinton Ave. E. and 375 Bamburgh Circle. The set-up of three more sites will begin next week and will open shortly thereafter.

Hours and addresses for these food banks, as well as other ways in which you can help the community during the COVID-19 crisis, are posted on 211Toronto.ca.

Article exclusive to TRNTO